The man charged with sending pipe bombs to critics of President Donald Trump, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and CNN, pleaded guilty Thursday to mailing the devices.
Florida resident Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested last October after authorities determined that he mailed explosive devices to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, among other Democratic leaders. Sayoc is also accused of sending bombs to actor Robert De Niro and to CNN’s New York office — which prompted an evacuation of the Time Warner building. None of the devices went off.
Sayoc, who has been referred to as the MAGA bomber in tabloids, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to 65 counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, the New York Daily News reported.
“In October 2018, I made devices that were designed to look like pipe bombs and sent them in the mail,” Sayoc said in court.
During his arrest, authorities took possession of his van, which was plastered with images of Trump and other images of Democrats with crosshairs on their heads. Debra Gureghian, Sayoc’s former employer at New River Pizza in Florida, told HuffPost in October that the van let no light through the windows and was littered with fast food wrappers and severed doll heads.
“There were unopened bottles of alcohol, open bottles of alcohol,” she said. “Dolls with their heads cut off, Barbie and Ken. He had said he was doing it for his nieces and nephews or something, he was fixing them.”
Sayoc, a registered Republican, has a long criminal history. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to felony grand theft and was found guilty in 2015 for a retail theft charge.
Most disturbing is that Sayoc wanted to “eradicate the Jews” and hoped to “go back to the Hitler days,” Gureghian said.
“It’s basically the white supremacists, the white foot soldiers that he wants to follow and lead,” she said. “He wanted to be a leader.”
Sayoc faces life in prison.
This story has been updated to include the number of charges.